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Publisher's Summary

In Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. While her work has earned her comparisons to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, she has a voice that is all her own. In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women's lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.

A wife refuses her husband's entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store's prom dresses. One woman's surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest. And in the bravura novella Especially Heinous, Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show we naïvely assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgängers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes.

©2017 Carmen Maria Machado (P)2017 HighBridge, a Division of Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    74
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    42
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    41
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    20
  • 1 Stars
    12

Performance

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    52
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    24
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    14
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    10

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
    38
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    35
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    21
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    11
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful

Poignant and heartbreakingly accurate fiction. Good read if you're a woman and feel like nobody understands you... Machado reaches down into every cobwebbed corner of the female experience and closely examines what she finds.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Breaks needed

Needs longer/more concrete audio breaks between stories. Difficult to differentiate stories and no time to process after one has ended. Beautiful writing.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • PJE
  • Central Virginia
  • 01-03-18

Character development is weak

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I wouldn't recommend these stories. Although I'm impressed by their originality and by the boldness of exhibiting intense sexual drives so explicitly and tastefully, especially with her female characters, ultimately, for me, the characters and the stories are too thin. The degree to which Machado sees sexuality as a defining characteristic of men and women makes her characters feel one dimensional (to me). I wanted to see other sides of her characters as the situations and the fairy tale dimension of her storytelling is often intriguing. Machado writes well, but her obsession with erotica becomes boring/annoying.

What could Carmen Maria Machado have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Deepen her characters/make them less one dimensional.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

The worst read ever!

The most poorly written book I have ever read. I can’t believe the author got a book deal, since my teenage diary reads better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Should be labeled as Erotica

Any additional comments?

I have no idea how this was a finalist for the National Book Award. It is very erotic, and I couldn't get very far as there is no plot. Returned to audible for my money back. Worst book I have started in a while. I agree with another reviewer's comment that she was attempting a poetic prose style, however it falls very flat. Cringe.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

If you liked the movie "Mother"...

This book is like listening to slam poetry. The plots, if there are actual plots, have been shuffled and diced until all that is left is a fragmented mosaic of prose. Maybe that's the point. It makes no sense and feels like it's trying to hard to be abstract art. If you liked the movie "Mother", this book might be for you.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

very confusing

I wouldn't purchase this book. It was confusing, and every short story didn't have a proper ending. I do not like books like this. Based on reviews I thought this book would be better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

It sounds like Siri is reading you a book

I had such high hopes for this book but unfortunately the terrible choice of robotic narrator was just too distracting to get me through the first chapter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

No breaks between stories

Any additional comments?

Unfortunately, this audiobook is hampered by kind of a dumb and unnecessary flaw -- the reader doesn't provide any pause or other noticeable break between stories. She ends one story, then immediately reads the title of the next one and continues on, without any change in cadence. It's OK if you're able to pay complete attention to the book, but if you're driving or doing something else while listening, it's easy to miss the transition from one story to the next. I listen while driving, and was four stories in before I realized it!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Softcore porn where "plot" is afterthought.

I had heard so much praise for this book but it turned out to be such a disappointment. I listened to first four stories and couldn't go on anymore. None of the stories have anything coherent or important to say. All of them are just f*ck-fest with a "plot" woven in as an afterthought.

Story #1 - The girl f*cked the guy here, there, everywhere. And oh, here's the mystery behind her ribbon.

Story #2 - The girl f*cked guys and girls and everything in between... and oh, the world's ending and she's on an island, making lists.

Story #3 - Two lesbians somehow made a baby.. and oh, twist, it's someone else's baby.

Story #4 - No idea what's even going on here.

It looks to me like the high praise for this book is PC affirmative action. As in "A woman talking about sex....!!! 5 stars." I just wasted hours n hours of time on this. Utter rubbish.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful